Bears Beat Wolf Pack 5-3; Devante Smith-Pelly Scores Hat Trick For Hershey

Photo: Hartford Wolf Pack

The Hershey Bears beat the Hartford Wolf Pack 5-3 Sunday afternoon at the XL Center in Hartford, Connecticut. The win improves the Bears record to 33-22-2-4 (72 points) on the season. The Bears are back in action Wednesday night when they host the Springfield Thunderbirds at Giant Center. Puck drop is set for 7:00 PM.

The Wolf Pack would strike first midway through the first period, but Devante Smith-Pelly would answer late in the opening frame for a 1-1 tie at the first intermission. The Wolf Pack would retake the lead early in the middle frame, but Garrett Pilon would wire a power play goal for a 2-2 tie at the second intermission. Smith-Pelly would score his second goal of the game to give the Bears a 3-2 lead early in the final frame and Jayson Megna would add a power play goal for a 4-2 Bears lead. Vinni Lettieri would score his third of the game to cut the Bears lead to one late in the final frame, but Smith-Pelly would score his third of the game for the 5-3 win.

Vitek Vanecek (15-9-4-1, 2.77 GAA, .903 sv%) started in goal for the visiting Bears. Adam Huska (0-0-, 0.00 GAA, 0.00 sv%) made his pro debut between the pipes for the Wolf Pack. The starting forward lines and defensive pairs for the Bears:

O’Brien– Sgarbossa – Barber
Walker– Megna – Smith-Pelly
Gersich – Pilon – Ikonen
Malenstyn– Pinho – Whitney

Ness – Lewington
Siegenthaler – Sproul
Geisser – Williams

Scratches: Kris Bindulis (upper body) and Joey Leach (wrist injury) were the injury scratches. Lucas Johansen, Connor Hobbs, Max Kammerer, Hampus Gustufsson and Mason Mitchell were the healthy scratches.

The Wolf Pack opened the scoring with a power play goal from Vinni Lettieri at 12:59 of the first period. It was Lettieri’s 19th of the season.

The Bears would answer with a deflected goal from Devante Smith-Pelly at 17:29 of the opening frame. This was DSP’s first goal with the Bears. Aaron Ness (40) and Tyler Lewington (9) were credited with the assists.

The first period would end with the game tied 1-1. Hartford outshot Hershey 15-7 for the first period. The Bears were 0 for 0 and the Wolf Pack 1 for 2 on the power play in the first period.

The Wolf Pack would retake the lead 30 seconds into the middle frame with Vinni Vinni Lettieri’s second tally of the game.

The Bears would tie it up with a power play tally from Garrett Pilon at 5:53 of the middle frame. Juuso Ikonen (9) and Nathan Walker (13) were credited with the assists.

The period would conclude with the game even 2-2. The Bears outshot the Wolf Pack 6-5 for the second period. The Bears were 1 for 3 and the Wolf Pack 1 for 2 on the power play after 40 minutes.

The Bears would take the lead with a nice snipe from Devante Smith-Pelly, his second tally of the game, at 1:54 of the final frame. Jayson Megna and Nathan Walker were credited with the helpers.

The Bears would stretch their lead to 4-2 with a power play goal from Jayson Megna at 8:53 of the final frame. Mike Sgarbossa (26) and Riley Barber (25) were credited with the assists.

The Wolf Pack would cut the Bears lead to one with Vinni Lettieri’s third goal of the game, but Smith-Pelly would answer with his third goal of the game. Nathan Walker was credited with the lone assist.

5-3 would be the final.


  • Devante Smith-Pelly scored his first, second and third goals as a Hershey Bear.
  • Stars of the game: 1) Devante Smith-Pelly, 2) Vinni Leteirri and 3) Nathan Walker.
  • Bears outshot Wolf Pack 30-28 for the game.
  • The Bears were 2 for 5 and the Wolf Pack 2 for 4 on the power play.
  • Nathan Walker had three assists.
  • Liam O’Brien and Aaron Ness led the Bears in shots with four.
  • Attendance: 4,686.
  • The AHL box score is here.


About Jon Sorensen

Jon has been a Caps fan since day one, attending his first game at the Capital Centre in 1974. His interest in the Caps has grown over the decades and included time as a season ticket holder. He has been a journalist covering the team for 10+ years, primarily focusing on analysis, analytics and prospect development.
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